Essays that earned Marathon spots

Samantha Creighton, 22, Mission Hill, Boston

No, I did not lose a leg. Instead, only my hearing was compromised. A small scratch on my knee. Both: back to normal only weeks later.

No, I was not on the bomb side of the street. Instead, I watched from directly across, in terror, not knowing if my friends opposite me were safe.

Yes, I escaped. But not before falling to the ground amidst the throngs of petrified onlookers trying to run by me. And not before my friend scraped me off of the ground while yelling, "Run!"

Yes, I made it to safety. But not peacefully. I felt the guilt of leaving my friends behind. Had they made it out unscathed?

No, I was not hospitalized. Instead, I sported a visitor's badge as I entered the room of my friends, two of the three Northeastern students who were hospitalized for severe leg injuries. Words escaped me.

No, I am not okay. Instead, I cradle my best friend who lost her innocent 8-year-old neighbor that day. I relive the horror in my mind every day. I take a daily dose of anti-anxiety medicine and attend weekly therapy.

No, I'm not afraid. Instead, my injured friends gave me strength and inspiration. They lived valiantly and bravely through a terrorist attack. How then, does a mere 26.2 miles seem like a feat? Yes, I am optimistic. Running the 2014 Boston Marathon is the next step in my healing process. Facing my fears, overcoming my obstacles, and showing my friends the same strength that they showed me last April is something that I will stop at nothing to achieve.

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